An incredible 3,612 volunteers took part in Paddle UK’s Big Paddle Clean-up that ran from May 25 to June 9.

This year, the initiative that focuses on clearing plastic waste and junk from local waterways saw paddlers fill 1,814 sacks of rubbish.

It had 7,716 plastic bottles, 2,332 glass bottles, 4,615 cans, 10,376 plastic food wrappers and other large and unusual items. 

“What an incredible achievement to remove so much junk and plastic pollution from our blue spaces by so many committed volunteers from the paddling community,” said Chantelle Grundy, Access and Environment Lead at Paddle UK.

“There have been school pupils, Sea Cadets, Scout Groups, Royal Air Force Cadets, the Army Cadet Force, Boy's Brigades, paddle clubs and Delivery Partners all coming together with one objective, to improve the health of our blue spaces and help wildlife.

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“I want to thank everyone who has supported the Big Paddle Cleanup and made such an immense difference to their local waters.”

In April this year, Great Britain’s Paracanoe team, including medallists Charlotte Henshaw, Robert Oliver, Emma Wiggs, Stuart Wood and Laura Sugar collected waste from the River Trent.

Women’s KL2 Paralympic champion Henshaw described the experience as an “eyeopener”. 

Last year, more than 2,600 paddlers took part in the initiative, helping raise public awareness of the issue. 

It resulted in about 1,800 sacks filled with 6,767 plastic bottles, 2,739 glass bottles, 4,403 cans and 7,682 food packaging items.

Click here for more information on the Big Paddle Cleanup

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